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 2014 Issue 1

YOUR BUSINESS, BROWARD AND BEYOND

From the Office of the Director: Broward and You!
Sandy-Michael E. McDonald, OESBD DirectorAs the Director of the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD), I'm excited at the prospects and opportunities that the future holds for our organization, the Broward County economy and the region.

When I joined the County, I understood that in order to realize the full potential of this agency we would have to do business differently. As a team, we have made a shift in our focus which impacted the structure of the sections within the office and how we relate to external partners and our clients. Under my leadership, our new focus is small business development as it relates to the economic development vision of the Board of County Commissioners and based on the OESBD mission.

We believe that our mission includes more than just opportunities that are made available through county procurement. Federal programs and international trade are also major opportunities for small business in Broward County. OESBD is taking a fresh approach in honing relationships with external partners to provide resources and services to our customers, namely entrepreneurs and small businesses. OESBD has already begun to ramp up our efforts in small business development with a plan that requires constant examination of our daily activities to ensure that we are advancing and not hindering small business growth. Through our efforts, we will capitalize on Broward County's collective uniqueness which will positively impact our journey to success. Working with the entire community, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, service organizations and local municipalities, we will build a stronger economic future for this County.

As a team, we are committed to supporting the growth and development of small business in Broward County. We believe that our business community is one of our greatest assets and we strive to provide the resources to position our firms to not only take advantage of the opportunities we have right here in Broward County, but to support their growth “Beyond Broward”.

I look forward to keeping you updated in the coming months about our progress and continuous opportunities for small business in Broward County. Our staff is here to serve you.

Sincerely,
Sandy-Michael E. McDonald
Director, Office of Economic and Small Business Development

Broward County Welcomes AeroTurbine OESBD Works to Keep Major Firm and Jobs in South Florida

Mayor Barbara Sharief welcomes AeroTurbine to Broward CountyBroward County Mayor Barbara Sharief recently welcomed AeroTurbine - a global company specializing in the re-manufacture, repair, maintenance, trading and leasing of commercial aircraft, airframes, and aircraft engines – with an “AeroTurbine Appreciation Day” proclamation upon the grand opening of their new corporate headquarters in the City of Miramar. AeroTurbine relocated into a new state-of-the-art 250,000 square foot facility in Broward County from its previous location in Miami-Dade County. The company was approved for the State of Florida Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) Tax Credit Refund and Broward County Direct Cash/Job Creation Incentive programs. It is projected that this expansion and relocation project will bring 150 existing and 75 new high-wage, high skill aviation and aerospace jobs into the County.

Beginning in 2012, the OESBD Economic Development section staff and its partners including the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance worked to assist with AeroTurbine’s relocation efforts. To advance the project, OESBD recommended and received approval of the Local Financial Support required for the state’s QTI incentive and Broward County Direct Cash/Job Creation Incentive for AeroTurbine from the Board of County Commissioners. The approval of the QTI, which was a total commitment of $187,500 from the County, was instrumental in the firm’s decision to remain in Florida. OESBD staff negotiated and assisted the Office of the County Attorney in drafting the Broward County Direct Cash/Job Creation Incentive agreement in collaboration with AeroTurbine.

OESBD also worked to draft an amendment to the Broward County Job Growth / Economic Development Incentives Act of 2011, which originally prohibited Broward County from offering incentives to any company in the tri-county area. Subsequently approved by the Board of County Commissioners, the revised Act served as the conduit for this project, making it possible to offer the incentives to AeroTurbine, previously a Miami-Dade-based company.

For more information on expansion and relocation services, contact Steven Tinsley, economic development manager, at 954-357-8075.

Get on the FastTrac

OESBD Becomes Kauffman Foundation Affiliate
The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) now offers the Kauffman FastTrac® program, which provides learning curricula to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in a non-academic environment and provides business skills, tools and networking to assist in business growth. As part of the program, Broward County offers free workshops for entrepreneurs at different stages in business development including:
Kauffman FastTrac Entreprenuerial Training · The Intentional Entrepreneur™ - connects entrepreneurs to the best resources available to start and grow successful businesses. It further guides participants through a process of consideration, exploration and planning.

· Listening to Your Business™ - a half-day workshop that guides you through a process of reflection, vision and planning and provides tools to take a closer look at where your business is today, what you want it to look like in three years and the steps to get there.

· New Venture™- a 10-week intensive workshop specifically for entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development, provides the tools to develop a business concept, determines the viability of the business concept and outlines the critical steps to a successful business launch.

Since May 2013, OESBD has held 17 free Intentional Entrepreneur™ and Listening to Your Business™ workshops at various locations throughout Broward County. OESBD’s strategic efforts have resulted in assisting 135 entrepreneurs and small business owners with business plan development and identifying growth steps. Following the workshops, OESBD staff is engaged with attendees and provides extensive one-on-one counseling.

The 10-week intensive New Venture™ workshop series will begin soon. For more information, contact Herb Parlato, economic development specialist, at 954-357-5672.

Introducing the New SBDAB Chair

Sheryl Dickey Named Small Business Development Advisory Board Chair
Sheryl Dickey, SBDAB ChairAs the chair of the Broward County Small Business Development Advisory Board (SBDAB) and owner of Dickey Consulting Services, Inc. (DSC), Sheryl Dickey is a woman on a mission. Dickey, an accomplished professional who was originally appointed by District 9 Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness, has passionately served on the SBDAB since May 2011. No stranger to government operations, Dickey’s DSC is a well-versed consulting firm specializing in public/ government relations, project management and economic development. An innovative, forward thinker, Dickey is also developer and owner of The Midtown Commerce Center, a LEED-certified, multi-used facility located in Fort Lauderdale.

A champion of building and sustaining communities, Dickey is dedicated to her life’s work of helping people to better themselves by working to improve the communities in “which they live, work and play.” Dickey is an Ohio native who has graciously served Broward County residents in many capacities, from her work as a member of St. John United Methodist Church and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to her volunteerism as a board member with such organizations as the Broward Public Library Foundation, the Midtown Business Association and the City of Fort Lauderdale Economic Development Advisory Board. Dickey’s honors include the Friends of Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center Community Activist Award and the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County Award.

During her term as SBDAB chair, Dickey wants the board to focus on" continuing to open up opportunities for small businesses through government and private sector procurement," which is a universal task that impacts s number of local business owners. Additionally, Dickey would like the SBDAB to "encourage the policy makers and their staff in the region of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to keep their certification processes open and accessible to all small businesses across county lines."

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners established the Small Business Development Advisory Board in 2001. The 11-member advisory board works to enrich the overall business climate for small and disadvantaged business enterprises within Broward County, among other functions. The SBDAB meets monthly on the first Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in the OESBD conference room. For more information on the SBDAB, contact Dawn Marshall, small business development specialist, at 954-357-6185.

Building the BUZZ for Local Businesses

Newest OESBD Section Bridges the Communications Gap
Have you heard an ad promoting the “Business Development Workshop Series” on your favorite local radio station? Maybe you’ve received an e-blast regarding a new contracting opportunity that fits your firm to a T? Or perhaps you’ve received an informative handout on Broward County’s small business programs from a booth at a local business event? If you haven’t yet, you will soon. All thanks to the efforts of OESBD’s Community Relations and Outreach (CRO) section that is charged with developing and executing outreach initiatives to raise awareness of our economic development and small business development programs and services to the community at large.

Since established in the first quarter of 2013, the section’s staff has been laying the foundation to reach the County’s plethora of diverse audiences and to identify, recruit, screen, motivate and develop small and emerging business owners. CRO has already begun to connect with multi-cultural media outlets within our local market and varied community partners to spread the word about the agency’s activities. The section has also increased agency participation - as both exhibitor and guest speaker - in partnering organization events and has leveraged staff expertise to offer heightened technical assistance to the business community. CRO efforts have already been fruitful – which is evidenced in the increase in agency workshops and other programs as well as the uptick in certification applications received.

The section connects entrepreneurs and small businesses countywide, with relevant resources and programs available from federal, state and local governments and other organizations, to promote entrepreneurial activity that will positively impact Broward County’s local economy. Staff also works with partnering agencies to promote an understanding of federal, state and local economic and small business development laws, policies, procedures and programs. Plans to boost OESBD’s presence include an overhaul of the agency website and foray into social media.

For more information on the CRO section and its outreach initiatives, contact Jasmine Jones, community relations and outreach manager, at 954-357-8076.

Did You Know...

We Are Multilingual?
Although English is the primary language of the majority of our staff, some OESBD team members can communicate with our clients in other languages. Two employees are bilingual, three are trilingual and two are multilingual (fluency in over three languages)! At OESBD, you can receive assistance for your business needs in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French and Italian. Additionally, the OESBD website can be translated into a number of other languages. Try it out the next time you visit us online by selecting “Microsoft Translator” or “Google Translate” from the top left corner of the webpage.

Small Business Development Team Spotlight

Local Certification and Compliance
For the OESBD Certification section, the past year brought significant changes. There have been a number of modifications to how Broward County evaluates and monitors eligibility for its local small business programs - County Business Enterprise (CBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).

Small Business CertificationFirst, CBE and SBE certifications no longer have “expiration” dates but instead are assigned “anniversary” dates. This is the result of input from our certified firms who commented that they wanted a more streamlined process and that reapplying every three years had become burdensome. We listened. Now, once certified, a firm’s status with the County is ongoing, pending an annual review of the firm’s continued eligibility in the small business development programs. Once a year, on the firm’s “anniversary” of initial certification, we request proof of eligibility in the program. Required documentation will include the firm’s previous year’s tax return and a completed Personal Net Worth form from each owner.

Second, the certification application process now includes a review of the applicant firm’s most recent contracts or work performed by the firm for any of its clients. This review assists us in evaluating firms for possible referral for other services offered by OESBD or any of our Small Business Development partners. Services offered may include assistance with business development, marketing, long-range planning, entrepreneurial training, bonding, insurance or financing assistance. Since these reviews now occur annually, we can begin to pinpoint potential obstacles firms are facing in obtaining contracts both with Broward County and with private entities.

Finally, the Certification section now performs site visits to all certified and applicant small businesses that have commercial locations. OESBD’s certification staff currently spends a significant portion of any given week “in the field” visiting with applicants and currently-certified firms. These visits allow us to be more visible to the business community and help us get a better understanding of each firm’s business operations. We believe these changes in how we interact with our clients will provide valued services to promote the development and growth of the local small business community. For more information on Certification services including application assistance, contact Cheryl Roberts, senior small business development specialist (), at 954-357-6135 or , senior small business development specialist (), at 954-357-6134., senior small business development specialist (local programs), at 954-357-6135 or Lori Gassett, senior small business development specialist (federal programs), at 954-357-6134.

The OESBD Compliance section used to be viewed as the agency’s watchdog enforcing small business development laws and regulations. Now staff work to help firms become more accountable, providing oversight and contract monitoring to support Broward County’s small business programs. Staff also ensure that the County and its vendors comply with the requirements of the Broward County Business Opportunity Act of 2012 regarding the County Business Enterprise (CBE) and the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs, as well as the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) regulations for our federally-funded transportation projects. Staff review procurement opportunities under these programs, establish appropriate project level goals, review bid submittals for small business participation and monitor contracts for compliance from beginning through final payment close-out.

Prior to and following contract award, staff attend project meetings to explain OESBD expectations for the prime's small business participation commitment. Once the project is underway, staff monitor the contractor's small business participation commitments. Efforts may include: site visits, interviews with firm employees, communication with project managers, auditing monthly utilization reports (MURs) for the CBE and DBE programs, auditing Quarterly Activity Reports for the ACDBE program, and assisting in prompt payment and complaint resolutions.

For more information on Compliance, contact Tony Fattizzi, senior small business development specialist, at 954-357-6475.

Help is on the Way

OESBD Techincal Assistance Saves the Day
John Bray, owner of Envirotronix Inc. and recent participant in the Intentional Entrepreneur™ course, needed to know more. Bray, a resident project representative whose firm had transitioned into project management from fire alarm and safety equipment installation, found himself with a new business model and a new Broward County contract; however, he now was in need of additional resources. He was in search of information about the intricacies of the County’s small business programs and contract goals.

Bray turned to Jasmine Jones, OESBD’s community relations and outreach manager, for help. After receiving personalized technical assistance, Bray got the information he was seeking and more.

“I was most pleasantly surprised at the numerous programs that [OESBD] offers and the County’s willingness to stand so strongly in support of small business efforts,” said Bray. “The multitude of training options and the countless programs - both standard and trending - that are available to the small business workforce is quite impressive.”

OESBD staff provides a wide array of technical assistance to any businesses. When entrepreneurs learn about OESBD's service offerings, they are able to make informed decisions to improve the bottom line for their business. If you are in need of resources to enhance your business – in areas such as import and export, business continuity planning, financing and insurance - remember we are just a phone call away.

The one-on-one counseling experience with our staff may be eye-opening. “Naturally, it's the great people behind the programs who really bring this whole concept to life and provide the energy necessary to promote these wonderful programs," Bray commented. “Thank you for all of the wonderful insights about the various programs and the other plentiful opportunities. I'm excited to delve deeper into the information and take advantage of the generous offers.”

In addition to our knowledgeable staff, OESBD is able to connect clients with resources and other service providers through our extensive referral process. To learn more about the technical assistance available to you, contact us at 954-357-6400.

Awards & Recognition

OESBD’s Compliance section was acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General, who recently commended efforts for meeting and exceeding the assigned DBE goals on two awarded south runway expansion aviation projects at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Broward County’s exceptional utilization of DBE firms, which comprised of new and existing firms compared to other nationwide programs, was also highlighted. These accolades are attributed to extensive outreach activity specifically targeting non-certified, certified and certifiable firms which staff assisted to be ready, willing and able for the proposed opportunity., who recently commended efforts for meeting and exceeding the assigned DBE goals on two awarded south runway expansion aviation projects at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Broward County’s exceptional utilization of DBE firms, which comprised of new and existing firms compared to other nationwide programs, was also highlighted. These accolades are attributed to extensive outreach activity specifically targeting non-certified, certified and certifiable firms which staff assisted to be ready, willing and able for the proposed opportunity.

Community Relations and Outreach Manager Jasmine Jones was named the Advocate of the Year Award by the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC). Jones was nominated for her contributions to minority business development, visibility in the local business community and actively fostering minority business development. This past August, Jones participated in a one-on-one interview held in Washington, D.C. to assist the Transportation Research Board's Airport Cooperative Research Program in developing "A Guidebook for Increasing Diverse and Small Business Participation in Airport Business Opportunities". A Federal Aviation Administration-funded research initiative, the "best practice" guidebook will assist airports in promoting opportunities to diverse businesses. Jones was also honored by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce during it's inaugural "Women of Distinction" Breakfast.

Economic Development Specialist (International Trade) Paola Isaac Baraya was named the International Business Women of the Year by the Organization of Women in International Trade(OWIT) South Florida. Isaac Baraya was recognized in the Service Category for her continued effort in assisting Broward companies to become export ready and raising the visibility of Broward County as a global hub in South Florida.

Jasmine Jones and Paola Isaac Baraya

Announcements & Events

2014 Business Development Workshop Series Launched

OESBD began the New Year by launching the 2014 Business Development Workshop Series, an update to the annual 12-part “How to Do Business with Broward County” series. For 2014, the free workshop series focuses on developing, creating capacity and providing resources to small businesses. The goal is to position small businesses to take advantage of opportunities provided by the County and to grow the reach of their businesses beyond Broward.
Mayor Barbara Sharief and Sandy-Michael McDonald respond to a question from a small business owner during the January workshopThe series has been redesigned to expand on accessing opportunities with government procurement and contracts, adding a business development component through a roster of topical guest speakers offering tips and tools to assist in sustaining and improving local businesses. Featured topics include new capital projects and contracting opportunities, business financing options and tax advice, among other subjects.
“This shift in direction for the monthly workshops is timely. We want to be the number one resource for business development in Broward County,” said OESBD Director Sandy-Michael McDonald. “Between our Office of Economic and Small Business Development and all of our business development partners throughout the state, we want to make sure that all needs to stabilize and grow small business in Broward County can be addressed. The new workshop series coupled with our other programs and services - including the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac® courses for entrepreneurs - are major steps toward this goal, enabling us to cultivate local businesses and foster a robust local economy.”
To better accommodate the busy schedules of attendees, the workshops are held at varying times every month on Thursdays and Saturdays in a variety of locations throughout the County. County staff participate to address certification, vendor registration and other necessary topics.

The series kick-off was held in January at the Miramar Branch Library and highlighted the topic New County and City Contracting Opportunities. In addition to the City of Miramar, representatives from five Broward County agencies presented information on upcoming projects and solicitations for the current fiscal year to a packed room of entrepreneurs and business owners. *Presentation slides from past workshops are posted on the OESBD website.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief offered welcome remarks to the attendees recognizing small businesses as one of Broward County's greatest assets. Wayne M. Messam, Miramar Commissioner and Broward County Small Business Development Advisory Board (SBDAB) member, also addressed upcoming opportunities in the city including the $60M revenue bond project. Other SBDAB members in attendance were Brian C. Johnson and Dana Pollitt.
The next workshop will be held on Saturday, March 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Northwest Regional Library. The workshop series is free and open to the public; pre-registration is not required. Individuals requiring auxiliary accommodations in order to participate must make a request at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled workshop. Visit us online for more information on the 2014 Business Development Workshop Series, or contact Lilian Guazzelli, economic development specialist, at 954-357-8289 or Jasmine Jones, community relations and outreach manager, at 954-357-8076.​​​